Before surrendering to the ministry at New St. Paul Church in Texas in 1985, Walter Wilson was trained as an usher, choir director, bass player, Sunday School teacher/superintendent and ordained deacon.
He grew up in east Dallas, just two blocks east of the Cotton Bowl (that’s why he’s a die-hard Dallas Cowboy fan). His father worked as a chauffeur, and his mother was a maid for the owner of the Hartford Insurance Company and worked as a church clerk for more than 30 years. Wilson accepted Christ during Vacation Bible School and was baptized at age 10. About that time, he was hospitalized for six months with osteomyelitis and had seven surgeries.
He played basketball and golf at N.R. Crozier Tech High School, but in his senior year, the school was closed. The students were bused to Skyline High where he continued to play basketball and graduated in the charter class in 1972. He received a business associate degree from Cooke County Junior College, his Bachelor and Master degrees from Bishop College in Dallas, and his Doctorate from Dallas Baptist University.
His first pastorate was at Garland, Texas, Mt. Moriah, but he said he felt called to plant churches for the Baptist General Convention of Texas, planting Rowlett, Texas, New Works Community and three other churches. In 2007, he accepted the call to Lawton, Friendship, where he has been the last 15 years.
In 2009, he helped form a group of about 10 churches into the Oklahoma African American Fellowship. In 2017, he put together a 100-voice choir from the African American churches to sing during Oklahoma Baptists’ annual meeting. That same time he joined Oklahoma Baptists as the African American ministry consultant. Since that time, the number of black churches in the convention has grown to 70 across the state.
“There have been lots of firsts,” Wilson said. “The first black church consultant, first black CLD program director, first black receiver of the distinguished service award, first black president of the Pastors’ Conference and first black to have a story published in the Baptist Messenger.”
Wilson has led classes during Oklahoma Baptists Rewired Men’s Retreat, was the second African American to preach at Oklahoma Baptist University’s chapel service and held the first African American evangelism conferences.
Lawton, Friendship partners with many community non-profit organizations such as the Pregnancy Resource Center, Great Plains Foundation, Hungry Hearts Ministry and Farmers to Family program. The church also has adopted a street in its area to clean and maintain.
“We have had block parties as well as our door-to-door turkey give-away,” Wilson shared. “Fifty-six turkeys and 22 hams were given as we shared Jesus.”
Friendship is located in the area known as Lawtonview. Wilson serves on the Lawtonview improvement committee, is chairman of the executive board for Great Plains improvement foundation and is past moderator of Comanche-Cotton Association.
Wilson said five years of consulting with black churches for Oklahoma Baptists has provided many useful resources and connections. For instance, he explained, the One, One, One Project, the One Church, One Child ministry.
“Plus,” he said, “I’ve been able to represent Oklahoma Baptists and share the concept of working together for the Gospel.”
In addition, Wilson preached for 10 days on a mission trip to East Asia and went on a mission trip to Mexico.
Wilson has been married to Velma Luckey Wilson for 49 years. They have a daughter, LaQuetha, who is married to George Lewis and have two adopted grandchildren, Kaden and Hezekiah, 7 and 8 years old.
Because of the generous giving of Oklahoma Baptists through the Cooperative Program, an amazing array of ministries are supported. This unified giving encourages fellowship with other believers all over the world. Collectively, Oklahoma Baptists are advancing the Gospel together.
Walter Wilson is featured in the 2022 Missionary Prayer Guide for Oklahoma Baptists. To see more information, visit oklahomabaptists.org/cp.